Maine’s Marriage Equality Law Becomes Effective December 29

Maine's marriage equality law is effective December 29, according to a notice from Equality Maine:

MaineAccording to the Office of the Secretary of State, the certified election results for the state were signed off on by Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday, Nov. 29. The new law becomes effective 30 days from that date.

"The long wait for marriage for same-sex couples in Maine is almost over," said Betsy Smith, the executive director of EqualityMaine. "Before the end of this year, all loving and committed couples in Maine will be able to stand before their friends, family and community and make a lasting vow to be there for one another."

On Nov. 6, Maine became the first state to allow committed same-sex couples to receive a marriage license through a popular vote of the people.

While the law allows for same-sex couples to marry, there are a number of questions remaining concerning the implementation of law and the implications of potential action in the U.S. Supreme Court concerning federal marriage law.

It's unclear when Maine couples will be able to marry:

EqualityMaine spokesman David Farmer said it's unclear exactly when couples will actually be able to exchange vows in Maine, since Dec. 29 falls on a Saturday and it's unknown if any municipal offices will be open that day to issue marriage licenses.

Said Lee Swislow, the executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders: "There is much to celebrate as we move closer to marriage for same-sex couples in Maine. We will continue to work closely with state officials and with couples who want to get married to answer as many questions as we can about Maine's new law."

Maine's Question 1 was approved by the voters 53 to 47 percent in the November election.